D: Alexander Payne
20th Century Fox (Michael London)
US 2004
126 mins


W: Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor [based on the novel by Rex Pickett]
DP: Phedon Papamichael
Ed: Kevin Tent
Mus: Rolfe Kent

Paul Giamatti (Miles Raymond), Thomas Haden Church (Jack Cole), Virginia Madsen (Maya Randall), Sandra Oh (Stephanie), Jessica Hecht (Victoria)

Two middle-aged men, one a neurotic, divorced writer and the other a struggling actor about to marry, learn about love, life and fine wine when they go on a road trip through California's wine country a week before the latter’s wedding.
It’s a little slow moving through the first act, bogged down by the depression of Paul Giamatti’s Miles Raymond character, but it finds its way in the second act when hump-happy Jack Lopate (Church) uses the trip as a way to have one last hurrah.
The sharp performances, full-bodied direction and quaffable screenplay can't be faulted, but much like a Beaujolais, it won't be for everyone’s taste.
Paul Giamatti & Thomas Haden Church in Sideways
Paul Giamatti & Thomas Haden Church in Sideways